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Change of Pace

Driven to succeed: Trophy determination

By Holly Vanorse Spicer | Mar 26, 2020

It started with a simple, innocent question. A request for a trophy.

Our little family was taking advantage of an afternoon in which none of of us had other engagements, and were taking up a corner of the pitch at the PITCH in Warren.

As we were clearing out, in the lobby, our 4-year-old son asked coach Dan Williams if he could get a trophy.

Coach Dan informed him that if he worked really hard, and practiced he could get good enough to earn one.

And that's where the seed was planted.

Suddenly, soccer became everything. The ride home, he asked about playing more soccer. The rest of the week, he asked for more soccer.

He's enjoyed kicking the ball around with us at home, or at the PITCH before. Naturally gravitating to it because he sees mom and dad enjoying it so much — but something was different now.

I signed him up for the kindergarten clinic, and almost every day until the actual start day, at least five times each day, he would ask if that was the day he started soccer.

Those children who get absolutely silly, crazy, vibrating with all the extra energy in the world when they don't take a nap?

That was him on the actual start day of the kindergarten clinic.

An observer before a participant, Carter's first practice went exactly how I figured it would.

Sitting back from the group, timid in the drills, and quiet around the other children.

He wanted to go back, which was a good sign.

That second practice went a little better. Sat a little closer, talked to a few of the other children. However, he was still a little timid in the drills.

Coach Dan would occasionally call out to him, "Carter, you're not a statue."

When it was his turn to try to score against the other group, he would freeze in the middle of the field. Sometimes he would kick the ball, but not follow through, as though his feet had been glued to the pitch.

Again, he wanted to go back.

This is where I was starting to realize the level of determination within the tiny human that sat in the back seat of my truck.

He knew he wasn't the best. He would say so when we would talk about each practice, his favorite parts, his least favorite parts. Talk about the things coach Dan, coach Chad, or coach Ben would say during each of the drills.

He wants a trophy, and he was told if he wants it, he has to put in the work. That is exactly what he had his mind made up to do.

Each practice you could see him trying a little harder. Getting a little better.

The second to last practice, he scored his first goal. The goal came from his first successful follow through, and dribbling of the ball to the net.

He was ecstatic. We were ecstatic for him.

It showed him that his hard work was paying off. He was learning, things were clicking.

Sure, he still has a lack of coordination, much like I do, but you can see it when he's out there, kicking that ball around, running around the cones — he is trying to figure out it, how to succeed, and get better.

Something tells me that with that drive, and that determination, this child will see a trophy somewhere down the road for soccer.

Carter Spicer. (Courtesy of: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Carter Spicer, right. (Courtesy of: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
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